More than a decade ago, the UK Government committed to fund the full economic cost of publicly- funded research. Initially, some progress was made.
But since austerity began to bite, we have been moving backwards. Under three-quarters of the true costs of UK research are covered from funds designated for research.
Research spending has been ‘protected’ in recent times but this has not been enough because the costs and volume of research have both increased. So, if the UK is to remain a top research nation, with strength across disciplines, and if the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitments on raising the proportion of GDP spent on R&D are to be met, then Government and industry need to spend much more in future.